Onduparaka welcome Proline to the Green Light Stadium on the opening day of the 2017/18 Uganda Premier League season looking to extend their unbeaten run at home in the league to 16 games.
The Caterpillars, debutants in the league last season put up thwarting displays last term as they ended the campaign unbeaten at their home ground. Leo Adraa and his green army registered eight wins including that 4-3 victory over record league winners SC Villa that was overwhelmingly voted as the Best Win by the fans, shared spoils seven times, and never on the losing side.
While the side struggled to post results in the second part of the campaign, maintaining the record was always top of the agenda and that they managed to do. Players will be keen to preserve that record and fans will come in overwhelming numbers expecting the same.
Onduparaka did their transfer business early in the window. Every department was reinforced and the club’s top scorer last season, Shaban Mohammad and captain Rashid Toha’s failed trials in South Africa meant last season’s squad was kept intact.
With the way they’ve been doing their business and their performance in preseason, the club appears well prepared for their second UPL season. Their brilliant preseason was capped by a 1-0 win over Jinja side Kirinya-Jinja SSS, and they’ll be hopeful for a bright start.
“We are well set for our first game. Proline is an experienced and good side, but I believe we have a squad that can handle any situation. It is going to be a very tough game because every team wants to start very well, but we shall try to see that we are the team that comes out on top tomorrow,” Onduparaka head coach Adraa said.
With exception of Toha who is out nursing a back injury, Adraa has a fully fit squad to pick from. Goalkeeper Nicholas Ssebwato who the fans consider as the club’s notable signing; Rajab Kakooza and Aggrey Kirya are likely to receive their club debuts against Proline. Out of the nine players signed, the trio has featured most for the club in preseason.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Faisal will miss the tie due to suspension. The midfielder was sent off against Bul on the final day of last season.
Proline unveiled their new players this afternoon including two Nigerian defenders Musa Kundi signed from Sunshine FC and Odili Lyosele from Turnah FC in Nigeria. The duo is expected to add experience to the youthful side.
The side heads into tomorrow’s game buoyed following their success at the Phillip Omondi Invitational Tournament held seven days ago, and the head to head that favors them having gone unbeaten against Onduparaka last season. The side convincingly beat the Caterpillars 3-1 at Lugogo, this was after they’d drawn 1-1 in Arua.
While they boast of a better head to head, Proline is aware no team has won a league game at the Green Light; therefore avoiding defeat will be just okay for the side.
Proline will be without Noordin Bunjo who suffered an ankle injury against KCCA during the Phillip Omondi Invitational Tourney last week.
The side begins life without talented midfielder Gift Ali who joined Police and the club’s top scorer last season Nelson Ssenkatuka who opted for Fred Kajoba’s side Bright Stars.